Georgia Drug Court is designed to reduce repeat offenses instead of just throwing them in jail. The Drug Court Program has changed the lives of numerous participants and their families.
Similar to a Conditional Discharge, there is a Georgia Drug Court for those charged with felony possession (not sale or trafficking) or sometimes drug related property crimes. The program is usually at least 2 years and is an intensive rehabilitation effort which includes random screens, counseling, meetings in court with the judge, sanctions for violations and incentives for quality improvement. Many participants have experienced life changing results and might be dead or in jail if not for the program. However, some defendants view the Georgia Drug Court program as burdensome and do not wish to attempt the unknown.
After arrest, some drug offenders or property crime offenders are offered a Drug Court spot. If accepted into the program, the Defendant is informed of the rights that they are giving up (trial by jury, search and seizure, etc.) and the terms of the program (drug and alcohol screens, meetings, counseling, employment, court, etc.). The Defendant enters a written agreement with the program and then the Defendant enters a Guilty Plea to the offense and is found Guilty by the judge. However, the sentence is withheld until either successful completion of the program or the participant is removed from the program.
If the participant is removed from the program, they are sentenced pursuant to their guilty plea and usually will have to spend time in jail.
If the participant successfully completes the intensive program, their life is changed for the better and the criminal charges are dismissed with no further obligation.
About the attorney: Anne Bishop is a Georgia lawyer with A. Bishop Law in Gainesville, Georgia and handles various DUI / DWI, Marijuana Arrests and other Georgia Criminal Defense matters. The law office of A. Bishop Law can assist clients throughout Georgia including: Hall County (Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch), Jackson County (Jefferson, Braselton) White County (Helen, Cleveland), Lumpkin County (Dahlonega), Dawson County (Dawsonville), Habersham County (Demorest, Cornelia), and all of Northeast Georgia.
This article and/or video should not be considered nor relied upon as legal advice since it is only intended for general overview and informational purposes. Please consult with an attorney on your specific situation in order to determine an appropriate legal course of action.